For my interview with a reference librarian, I was actually fortunate enough to speak to two at the same time: Karl Wasmuth (children’s reference) and Sue Bond (general reference) of Hazard Branch.
One of the most interesting concepts I pulled from this talk, however, was not related to reference service at all. They had noticed a trend over the last 10 or so years that library patrons had become bookstore patrons (a pang of guilt here, for that neatly summarizes my own book acquirement habits). Most of their reference service also takes place through chat, email, and phone rather than walk-ins. Combined with the move toward providing audio books and e-books for download through library sites, it isn’t too difficult to imagine future libraries (at least some of them) as nothing more than websites to visit rather than physical centers, at least for the average patron.